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For the past couple of months I’ve been funneling saving money to pick up a couple more Canon Speedlites to get myself 4 lights so that I can start trying out wireless E-TTL setups. Last week UPS delivered my 4th flash, a 430ex and I was ready to go, or so I thought.

Canon Speedlite 430exI took out my 4 flashes; a 550ex, a 420ex, and 2 430ex’s; and set up a small makeshift studio. The second 430ex would fire when on the hotshoe and would fire when set as a slave, but I couldn’t change any settings. All that was on the LCD was “ETTL” and a flashing “Zoom — mm”. Worse, none of the buttons did anything. After a few minutes of cycling on and off I started hearing what I assume to be the zoom motor trying to move the lenses inside the flash head. Hearing the zooming was new for me since my other flashes are almost dead silent while zooming. So I guess that the zoom motor is bad and I’ll be sending this little flash back to B&H Photo when they reopen after Passover. Fortunately B&H has one of the easiest return policies of any mail order place I’ve ever had to exchange equipment at.

This was the second 430ex that I’ve bought and had to ship back for a replacement. The first one blew a capacitor the first time I pushed the pilot button. It sounded like a gun going off in my hand which comes as quite a surprise when all I was expecting was a little light.

So out of 3 430ex flashes, I have one that works. Anybody else have that kind of luck with these flashes?

That said, the one that does work works flawlessly and I like it better than the 420ex it replaced.

One Response to “Anybody else having bad luck with Canon 430ex?”

  1. Ryan

    After a trip to the UPS store to send the second defective 430ex back to B&H I had 2 working 430ex’s. Last weekend I was setting up one on a light stand for formals at a wedding and it fell about 3 feet to the floor popping off the red filter on the front and getting a small scratch. That flash got tossed in my bag because I didn’t feel that I could trust it and I brought out the other one. But now that I’ve had a chance to test it on non-critical shots the 430ex that went for a bounce seems to be working fine.

    I must just have bad luck with flashes. I had a Vivitar 285 that fell off my counter the first time I used it and would only fire 1 out of 5 times. I’ve dropped my 550ex when it fell out of my flash bracket, although it still works. And now I’ve dropped a 430ex. Flashes just aren’t safe in my house.

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